Add re­verses to your tex­tures

Future Music - - FEATURE -

Here, we’re fill­ing in the gaps be­tween phrases with some tone and spaceen­hanced re­versed sounds, to add an ethe­real at­mos­phere Some­times the ‘right sound’ to fill in the gaps be­tween mu­si­cal phrases isn’t a new in­stru­ment, but a ‘ver­sion’ of the lead sound it­self. In the fol­low­ing ex­am­ple, we’ve pro­grammed a moody piano sound with some tempt­ing gaps be­tween phrases into which we’d like to place a haunt­ing, at­mo­spheric sound. A re­versed ver­sion of the piano seems like a good choice, es­pe­cially when we treat it with its own tone and spa­tial treat­ment and look to make each re­versed slice oc­cupy its own part of the stereo field by au­tomat­ing pan. Be care­ful with how you re­verse the orig­i­nal piano and also which sec­tions of each phrase we re­tain. If you like this idea but want to use a dif­fer­ent sound to create the ‘re­versed slices’, go for it. Cre­at­ing a ‘pair’ of in­stru­ments – one for­wards, one re­versed – can be hugely ef­fec­tive.

We start by pro­gram­ming a moody piano part at 70bpm. The piano sound is called ‘Dark Score’, from Spec­tra­son­ics’ Keyscape library. We de­lib­er­ately leave long pauses in the sec­ond bar of each chord as this pro­vides us with a gap we’ll be able to fill with a re­versed sound.

We ren­der the piano part and place it on a new au­dio track. We don’t want to re­verse the en­tire se­quence as that would place the fi­nal chord un­der the first one. In­stead, we chop the se­quence into two-bar blocks and re­verse each one, so that each chord ‘stays in po­si­tion’.

We move each chord later, so that the long re­versed build-up is pre­served but the high notes are omit­ted from each chord. We then pan each so they move from one side to an­other un­der the orig­i­nal piano part, add a touch of EQ and re­verb and short fades to re­move any clicks.

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